New HHS Division Promotes LGBTQ Discrimination

For Immediate Release

January 18, 2018

Contact: Jerame Davis –

New HHS Division Promotes LGBTQ Discrimination

WASHINGTON – Today, the Department of Health and Human Services announced the creation of a new and dangerous division of the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) intended to enforce federal laws that allow healthcare providers to deny care based on their religious objection. Pride at Work Executive Director, Jerame Davis, issued the following reaction:

“President Trump’s Health and Human Services Department is playing with people’s lives in their latest attempt to upend LGBTQ rights. This new rule and division create a license to discriminate that will allow healthcare workers and HHS to deny life-saving services to LGBTQ people and certain women who are pregnant.

“This brand of so-called ‘religious freedom’ is a mockery of the fundamental religious protections provided by our Constitution. It is not ‘freedom’ of religion to use your faith as a weapon to harm others. The denial of life-saving care is, without question, harmful to LGBTQ people.

“We’ve already seen this sort of weaponized religion in action. In Detroit, a child was denied care by her pediatrician because her parents are LGBTQ. Nationwide, 29% of transgender people report being refused service due to their actual or perceived gender identity. Furthering this madness is exactly the type of discriminatory practice the HHS OCR was established to prevent.

“This Administration is abominable in their treatment of minority and marginalized populations. Pride at Work denounces this new direction for the HHS Office of Civil Rights and calls for the immediate reversal of this destructive policy change.”


Pride At Work builds power for LGBTQ working people to further social and economic justice. We seek full equality for LGBTQ Workers in our workplaces and unions and we organize in the spirit of the union movement’s historic motto, “An Injury to One is An Injury to All.” Learn more at